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Pearl City People Remember

Pearl City, Florida

A Black Community Remembers


by Arthur S. Evans and David Lee

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Founded in 1915, the black community of Pearl City lies in the heart of Boca Raton on southeast Florida's Gold Coast. The authors have constructed a history of how the community was established, how it developed, and how it managed to survive through the hostilities of the 1930s, 40s, and 50s. They have added a sociological, geographical, and historical analysis—with a special focus on black migration within the South—that gives a broader theoretical context to themes that arise in the oral history.

Arthur S. Evans walked, talked, and sweated social history running his tape recorder in unairconditioned homes while elders talked. With FAU colleague David Lee, Evans created an oral history and social analysis of Pearl City, a Boca Raton community born after the turn of the century as ‘colored town.' 

1990. 162pp. 6 X 9. Maps, photographs, bibliography, index.

ISBN 0-8130-0999-5  Cloth, $49.95






"Most research on post—Civil War blacks concentrates on those who moved North to find jobs, Evans says. In Pearl City, Evans found the living prophecy of educator Booker T. Washington, who advised blacks to ‘lay down their buckets where they were and use those skills that they knew'—fence building, ditch digging, child care. [Washington's] position was that you would probably not be successful but that you were laying groundwork for your children to be successful.' Many of Pearl City's settlers who were illiterate tenant farmers, maids, or club caddies had children who became high-level professionals, doctors, and lawyers."— Miami Herald

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